dir. Quentin Dupieux, 2019
NR, 77 min, France, in French with English subtitles
In this black comedy of middle-aged masculinity gone awry, Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin (The Artist) is a recent divorcee who becomes obsessed with a vintage fringed deerskin jacket that begins to exert an uncanny hold on him. Set in a sleepy French alpine village, he falls into the guise of an independent filmmaker and befriends a trusting bartender and aspiring editor (Adèle Haenel, Portrait of a Lady on Fire) who becomes his collaborator on a movie that will document a surprising new goal he sets himself.
“Deerskin, written and directed by Quentin Dupieux, is a loopy entertaining WTF lark. It’s like a cross between Barton Fink and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer — the study of a desolate loner sunk into obsession, and the more we study him the more out there his obsession becomes. Yet the weirdest element of the movie is, paradoxically, the most normal: The central character (for long stretches, he’s the only character) is played by Jean Dujardin, the blazingly charismatic star of The Artist and the OSS: 117 films. […] Dujardin is the sort of leading man who likes to mix it up, and in Deerskin he gives an adventurous downbeat performance that tosses vanity — and sanity — right out the window.” —Variety
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